The technology is everywhere. Just take a look around and think about it. Actually, take a look at your pocket or at this screen, you’re looking at right now. Technology has brought many great things to us! Most of the times, technology helps us things quicker and easier.
Smartphones, tablets, personal computers, video games and so on… our life is surrounded by technology and our children are also using it at home, at school, everywhere. Our children will learn many things we have not even dream about it right now. We know this is an important positive impact of technology.
But there are some negative impacts from technology overuse too, having serious consequences into our children’s life. To get the best of digital devices, parents have to consider its downsides and prevent them. We sorted five negative impacts of technology you have to pay attention:
- Relationships and Social Skills Issues
Kids are using mobile devices more and more, and they can become addicted to this, not spending enough time with their family and/or friends. They are more likely to be virtually connected with friends, sharing photos and texting online than actually meeting them in person.
The new generation is growing up playing games online, accessing websites (sometimes harmful websites), chatting online on Facebook, sharing photos on Instagram and Snapchat and so on. It doesn’t mean that spending time online is a bad thing but spending too much time online can really weaken the bond between the parents and the child, and also private the child to improve several social skills.
- Health Problems
The overuse of mobile devices can be harmful to children’s health. The more they use mobile devices, the less physical activities they do. The problem is that playing games online is combined with snacking, substituting the balanced alimentation. As children spend more time in front of those screens, most of the time in the couch, less time they spend outside playing, running and burning off calories. Over time, those habits can lead to a significant weight gain.
To prevent it from becoming a habit, parents can talk with their children about parental controls.
Remember: it’s important to balance the quality and quantity of the time they spend on digital devices.
Teach your children that there is time for everything, even to play games online. But it’s also important to balance it, otherwise many problems come along.
- Browsing Online Can Be Dangerous
While browsing online we often face harmful things such as phishing, virus and other dangers disguised as advertising. Most of the adults know it and can easily avoid them, but what about our children? Sometimes even the advert can be harmless to them. A study from 2005 says that 70% of teens aged between 15-17 have accidentally stumbled across pornography online. What about nowadays?
The children can go online and search for anything. But with the right monitoring, they will not access dangers websites, avoiding to meet dangerous people. Keep in mind that you can always guide your children to avoid those dangers.
One way to help children to be safe online is to use parental controls and Internet filtering tools to select the content they are able to access or even block browsers for as long as you consider it is appropriated.
- Mobile Device Overuse Reduce Sleep Quality
According to the article “Kids Are Being Kept Awake by Their Phones Even When They’re Not Using Them” over 72% of all children have at least one device in their bedroom. JAMA Pediatrics published a study with the big question: Is there an association between screen-based media device access or use in the sleep environment, and sleep quantity and quality?.
Well, they found out that there is a strong and consistent evidence of a link between mobile devices overuse and reduced sleep quality. Our children are sleeping less than they should, but what’s the matter with it?
A lack of sleep can have serious consequences on our brain. During the sleep, the brain does some “housekeeping” tasks, clearing things that aren’t important and restoring the nerves networks to wake up again ready for a brand-new day. But sleeping less means that we’re depriving our brain of its essential needs and we will struggle on our activities during the day.
To help your children to get a better sleep, you can talk to them about the dangers around it.
- Is Your Smartphone Affecting Your Relationship With Your Kids?
Take a time to think about it, have you checked your phone for notifications how many times? How many times did you open WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook, or Instagram when you’re with your children?
Well, most of the people we know, do these many times, after all, mobile devices are great to overcome boredom. But checking out mobile devices for notifications when we’re around children has its downsides. According to a study published by University of Michigan Health System, “Parents’ use of mobile technology around young children may be causing internal tension, conflicts and negative interactions with their kids”.
Children see, children do. Dr. Jenny Radesky, says that children “…learn by watching us how to have a conversation, how to read other people’s facial expressions. And if that’s not happening, children are missing out on important development milestones.”.
Some of the plans of making family time even better are to get the time to reconnect with children.
Take the time to be with them, and do the stressful tasks later, when you’re not with your children.